It took Chevrolet three years to respond to Ford's Mustang, but when it came, the Camaro offered a great range of performance packages in a smooth, attractive body. Chevrolet and General Motors finally caught up with Ford and Chrysler by fielding a pony car, with the new Chevrolet Camaro and sister car, Pontiac Firebird.
Like the Mustang and Barracuda, the Camaro was based upon an existing compact car line. In the case of the Camaro that car was the newly redesigned Chevy II line. Introduced over two years after the successful Mustang launch, the Camaro benefited from more modern design techniques, but had a lot of ground to make up in the sales race. The Camaro looked more like a sports car than the Mustang and was offered right from the start with a full range of Chevrolet engines. A variety of powerplants from a 230 CID 6-cylinder, up through a 325-horsepower, 396 CID V8 engine were available from its introduction. As was typical, a full range of accessories was offered to make a Camaro anything from "plain jane" to luxurious to all-out sports car.
Unlike the Mustang and Barracuda, a fastback model was not offered. Although a certain group of buyers were going after fastback models, they were still a relatively small percentage of the overall market, so GM went for the more traditional 2-Door Hardtop and Convertible body styles. The Hardtop style had a sort of "semi-fastback" look to it, but was considered a Hardtop or Coupe. The full-size Chevy line was restyled this season, in line with other big cars from GM. Continuing a traditional Chevy look, the new cars were slightly boxier in appearance but still very pleasing. Styles like the Impala 2-Door Hardtop were quite racy looking.
Powertrain choices and the model line were unchanged from 1966. The mid-size Chevelle line received a new frontal treatment, with the grille design no longer wrapping around the front fender edge. The rear styling was cleaned up a bit, too. The only change to the model line was the addition of a top-end Concours 4-Door Station Wagon.
Styling changes for the Corvair, Chevy II and Corvette were limited to trim and detail changes. The Chevy II offered a 250 CID 6-cylinder engine in place of last year's 230 CID 6-cylinder. The Corvair line dropped the top end Corsa performance line and its 140-horsepower powerplant. Finally, the Corvette received minor alterations as it awaited its fresh new replacement for the 1968 model year. Although Chevrolet's overall production fell 9 percent from 1966, Chevy regained the top sales position this year as Ford's sales dropped more sharply.